Protein coexpression using FMDV 2A: effect of “linker” residues

Ekaterina Minskaia*, Martin D. Ryan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Many biomedical applications absolutely require, or are substantially enhanced by, coexpression of multiple proteins from a single vector. Foot-and-mouth disease virus 2A (F2A) and “2A-like” sequences (e.g., Thosea asigna virus 2A; T2A) are used widely for this purpose since multiple proteins can be coexpressed by linking open reading frames (ORFs) to form a single cistron. The activity of F2A “cleavage” may, however, be compromised by both the use of shorter versions of F2A and the sequences (derived from multiple-purpose cloning sites) used to link F2A to the upstream protein. To characterise these effects, different lengths of F2A and T2A were inserted between green and cherry fluorescent proteins. Mutations were introduced in the linker region immediately upstream of both F2A- and T2A-based constructs and activities determined using both cell-free translation systems and transfected cells. In shorter versions of F2A, activity may be affected by both the C-terminal sequence of the protein upstream and, equally strikingly, the residues immediately upstream introduced during cloning. Mutations significantly improved activity for shorter versions of F2A but could decrease activity in the case of T2A. These data will aid the design of cloning strategies for the co-expression of multiple proteins in biomedical/biotechnological applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number291730
Number of pages12
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Multiple proteins
  • Single vector
  • Foot-and-mouth disease virus
  • Open reading frames (ORFs)
  • Cistron
  • F2A
  • T2A
  • C-terminal sequence
  • Cloning strategies
  • Biomedical applications
  • Biotechnological applications
  • Mouth-disease virus
  • Ribosome entry sites
  • Embryonic stem-cells
  • Open reading frame
  • Retroviral vector
  • Signal sequences
  • Gene-expression
  • T-cells
  • Cleavage
  • Peptide


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